During the summer of 2016, God threw my husband and me into a major transition and refining season. After twenty years of living in Hawaii, and twelve years on the North Shore, God impressed upon us that it was time to move back to the mainland. Five moves and two states later, Vince and I finally arrived in Fort Myers, Florida. God has impressed upon my heart that Vince and I are now in our land of Canaan, our Promised Land. Nevertheless, this crazy transition season is far from over.
Our home here is a fixer upper. Shortly after buying our house, Vince and I began tearing down walls, pulling up carpet and tile, removing bathroom and kitchen furnishings, and so much more. We temporarily kept one toilet and one sink. To put it lightly, the house is currently in very livable yet rough conditions. Nevertheless, the Lord recently impressed upon us to move into our house and live here while we work on the renovations.
Vince built a bed in our house with two by fours and cinderblock for us to sleep on. I created a make shift kitchen in our laundry room with two tables, a coffee pot, a microwave, a plug-in hot plate, a blender, a toaster oven, and minimal kitchen utensils. The previous owners left a table that we currently use for eating, working, planning, and more.
At this time, we have done almost all of the demolition work, removed wallpaper, and washed walls. Vince has also power washed the house, painted the front door and changed the hardware, and has begun painting some of the outside. This week, I am focused on the scrubbing of all the windows in hopes that they can be salvaged rather than needing to be replaced. Each day, the house looks better than the day before. It is far from complete but we are making progress.
A few days ago, I was sitting at our only table, on one of our four chairs. As I looked around the house and reflected on us living here as we go through this process, a light went on in my head. I realized something very profound. This is what the Holy Spirit does for each and every one of us who knows Jesus. When we accept Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit immediately takes up residence inside of us. He doesn’t tell us we are too messed up or that we must get our act together before He can move in. Instead, He makes His home in us …… as is. Each and every day, He sets out to demo walls, tear up carpet and tile, remove the wallpaper, wash the windows, and apply a fresh coat of paint, so to speak. Each day, we grow and are changed as He does His wonderful work in us.
As Vince and I are in this major renovation season, the symbolism is especially powerful. The renovations we are doing on our house continually remind us of the renovations the Holy Spirit is doing in us. In this season, I must continually rest in this place and seek to participate in whatever God wants to do. It is uncomfortable but so worth it. His work is good.
Each of us is on a journey. Perhaps life is pretty calm for you at the moment rather than super challenging as it is for us. The Holy Spirit is still at work in you and has great things He wants to do in your life. Maybe you are indeed going through some huge life changes and are feeling rather beat up. Again, I say God is at work. A huge part of the journey is asking Him to open our eyes so that we may better see what He is doing so we can cooperate with Him. At the same time, maybe you have never surrendered your life to Jesus and asked Him to be your Lord and Savior. If so, He’s calling out to you. If you ask Him to forgive you of your sin, to come into your heart, and to be your Lord and Savior, He will. At that moment, the Holy Spirit will take up residence. Wherever you are at right now, I am praying that you will allow the Holy Spirit to reside in you and to do whatever it takes to make His home in you all that He knows it can be.
John 14:15-17 “If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it isn’t looking for Him and doesn’t recognize Him. But you know Him, because He lives with you now and later will be IN you.